Bird scooters fly the coop but bigger flock circling


SALT LAKE CITY — Shortly after a surprise appearance in Salt Lake City late last month, the flock of 100 or so rentable Bird scooters that were nested on the streets of downtown have, just as suddenly, disappeared.

Salt Lake City officials report the company agreed to a temporary removal of the electric-powered vehicles while a path to a business license, and some operating rules, could be worked out.

And now it appears there could be hundreds, or possibly thousands, of new scooters and bikes populating the state’s capital city as three additional companies have lined up to potentially launch systems in which their two-wheelers can be rented, ridden and left at the users’ destinations, wherever they may be.

James Wooldridge, Deseret News

FILE – Jeff and Cindy Valvenzula ride Bird scooters across a Salt Lake street on Thursday, June 28, 2018.

Salt Lake City Transportation Director Jon Larsen said the city has crafted a draft operating agreement that, as of Wednesday, has been sent out to Bird and three additional companies including Ofo (bikes), Lime (bikes and scooters) and Spin (scooters). Larsen said the goal is to put some reasonable limits on volumes of scooters as well as establish guidelines about where, and where not, bikes and scooters can be left when not in use.

“We’ve carefully structured the operating agreement in a way that is not too overly bureaucratic,” Larsen said. “We’ve also include incentives to encourage (transportation) investment where we want it.”

To that end, the draft agreement, which is subject to modification pending comments from the four vendors, proposed limiting initial launches of bike or scooters to 200 vehicles. However, if the vendor agrees to place an additional 100 vehicles west of I-15, where the city is working to enhance transportation options, it can then add 200 more of their bikes or scooters in the city. And if the company agrees to create designated parking areas for vehicles, there’s the possibility of going beyond the 500 mark.

The agreement also includes stipulations about where scooters and bikes cannot be parked. Banned areas include within 15 feet of any bus stop, building entrance or exit, ADA ramp or traffic pole. They also can’t be parked within 50 feet of a GreenBike dock, or within two feet of a bike rack, unless the device is locked to the rack. Scooters or bikes on sidewalks must be parked in a way that …read more

Source:: Deseret News – Business News


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